Pop Up Frustration

  As I sit in a park writing this post I silently giggle to myself at a well meaning grandma wrestling with ‘pop up’ soccer goals. 

My amusement stems from the countless times I’ve found myself in the same position with pop up goals, sun shelters and tents. It’s like the inventors of these products number one priority when designing was how they could best humiliate parents in public. 

I once literally wrestled with a sun shelter for at least half an hour on a crowded beach. It first brought sniggers from my husband but by the end of the ordeal I was sure that I was entertaining the whole beach. I didn’t want to give in! Eventually I succumbed to following the instructions which I found printed on a tag inside the bag and low and behold it actually collapsed into a neat circle to be packed away within seconds. 
I thought after that experience that I had learned the key to collapsible shelters but to this day every time I touch one of those things it ends in frustrated groans. There must be a sweet spot that I can never seem to find. 

I’ve now just watched the granny carry the soccer goals (fully open) over towards her car. At least she has the sense to give up early. I feel bad that I haven’t offered her assistance but given my track record I think she’s found the perfect solution! 

Surely I’m not alone in this frustration. Have you had a similar experience?


Intuition final

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Teacher’s Kids


I have often wondered how kids whose parents are teachers at their school, feel about this arrangement. Of course it would be cool to have your parent at school any time you need a form signed or want canteen money, but from a social perspective I wonder whether it is difficult.

All my kids have friends whose parents teach at the school and I know from their experience it becomes awkward knowing what to call these teachers. They struggle with calling them by their title (Mr or Mrs) at school and then calling them by their first name in a social setting outside of school. It leaves them tending to not address them by any name for fear of either being too formal or too casual.

I think it is also a tad difficult for parents who teach at their kid’s school to make the same kind of connection with other parents as they are always held in a different regard – like anything said to them could end up being discussed with the school principal.

I have spoken with teachers who shop half an hour away from their home so that they don’t bump into kids from their school. Not only do they feel they are being stalked by the kids like they are paparazzi but they feel like the parents judge them by what is in their shopping trolley.

Of course I understand logistically it makes life easier if, as a teacher, you are positioned at your child’s school as then you get to see all their concerts, assemblies and carnivals, however maybe it is actually better for the child and the parent to go to different schools so that they can both have independent identities away from school.

What are your thoughts? I’m sure there are a lot of teachers out there that would have an opinion on this subject!

(Image courtesy of isosphere, freedigitalphotos.net)

Open Apology


I have always laughed, but felt a tad annoyed, when people would ask me, ‘are ALL those children yours?’ – like having four children made me like the Duggars who have dozens of kids. The jokes of ‘haven’t you worked out how they are made?’ or ‘doesn’t your television work?’ or ‘are you trying to get a whole football team?’ all became old very quickly, so I’m usually sensitive to this with other parents.

However, the other day I bumped into a mother with whom I would sit when my oldest kids were learning to swim. She has a son my eldest daughter’s age, a son my second daughter’s age, a daughter a little younger than my son and the last time I saw her several years ago she had another baby son. So I was surprised when I saw her cradling a newborn baby. ‘Is that yours?’ I asked hesitantly, to which she replied yes. ‘How many kids do you have now?’ I asked insensitively. ‘Oh about fifteen,’ she joked then said this little boy was her fifth child.

‘Wow, a child finishing school and a newborn, that’s amazing,’ I went on, followed by, ‘you’ll probably have grandkids before your youngest kids finish school.’ This sentiment stems from my own thoughts that it is quite possible that my eldest could have a child before we are free from school commitments for our youngest.

After I walked away I was replaying our conversation over in my mind and came to the conclusion that I had acted in the exact way that I had always made a silence pact not to! What I should have said was what a blessing to have such a gorgeous child and what a lovely addition he would make to the family, instead in my shock at seeing this lady with another child I blurted out insensitive comments for which I openly apologise.

I know that when you give birth to any baby, you love them unconditionally and can’t imagine your family without them. This little boy is lucky to have been born into a family where he has many siblings to dote on him. I just don’t envy his mum having to sit through all those swimming lessons again!

(Photo courtesy of papaija2008, freedigitalphotos.net)